17-55 DX on FX
November 9, 2013
The is of one of my last heirloom tomatoes of the season. Brought into the kitchen, it ripened to a beautiful blood red. This was my first year to grow heirlooms and must say I wasn't happy with the crop. Next year, I'll probably go back to the nursery plants.
The tomato was shot with the 17-55 at 55 mm, f/5, 1/13 sec, iso 100, and cropped a bit to concentrate on the fruit. The D800E was sitting on the table. I find my 17-55 sharp, fast and quiet to focus, colorful, and sturdy enough for defensive purposes. I like the bokeh, too. It focuses as close as 14" (36 cm) as shown here. Downsides? It is heavy as a solid block of steel, and, especially with the hood, it's a bit too impressive in size.
There is another downside to this lens. It is a DX and, from my testing, in only usable in FX mode between 45 and 55. Of course, the D800E offers a crop mode, effectively simulating a 15MP DX body, so it's still quite usable at other focal lengths if you're willing to give away half your pixels.
Since I like shooting wide and tend to leave the 17-55 at 17, I expect it to be replaced in my bag with the 20 mm 2.8d. Not nearly as nice a lens, the 20, but it is small and it fills the FX frame. Also, the 20 on FX gives a wider angle of view than the 17 on DX as the 20's equivalent on DX would be about 14. Said simply, the larger FX sensor captures more of a scene than a DX sensor, so the same focal length is wider on FX than DX. A common example is the 50 mm focal length which is considered a normal focal length on film SLRs and full-frame DSLRs; the 50 mm is a slight telephoto on DX as it sees less of the same scene and appears to give more reach.